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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  November 19, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST

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amazing action, unbelievable rescues. a mother and her children trapped inside the twisted wreckage of a car. >> it did go through our minds that this vehicle could go over the edge. >> firefighters who demonstrate courage any time any place. >> basically you're hanging 80 feet beneath the helicopter which was not the plan i had in my mind. >> we first got on the scene and looked over the edge, and it was like oh, this is a lot bigger than we thought.
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>> acts of bravery from every day heros. >> i heard a yell for help and i just immediately started running for the door. >> and nerves of steel in the face of imminent danger. >> we had a really small window to get everyone out of this tunnel or it's going to go from a rescue to a recovery. "caught on camera." help is on the way. rescuers race to save a family trapped inside a wreck and hanging on the edge. >> i've never seen anything like this in 34 years. >> january 12, 2012. an afternoon compute becomes a nightmare when a tractor-trailer slams into a car carrying a mother and her two children in california. >> they were pushed into the center of the bridge. the tractor went over the edge of the bridge and the trailer followed and crushed the car as it was going over the bridge.
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>> the 18-wheeler plummets and explodes, instantly killing the driver. but amazingly kelly groves and her two the daughters, 10-year-old sage and 10-week-old milo are alive, trapped inside the twisted wreckage of the car. santa barbara fire department battalion chief and firefighter paramedic greg knuckles are among the first to arrive on scene. >> when we first went out we thought it was a vehicle accident. we didn't know we had a tractor-trailer that was on fire that went over the car and crushed the car and exploded. >> you could tell from the radio traffic and the discussions that were happening just how complex the rescue was. and you just sort of knew that it was kind of a different, unique call. >> but unique only begins to describe this accident.
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rescuers are stunned to find more than half of the car dangling over the side of the bridge. news cameras and a firefighter's helmet cam capture the dramatic incident as it unfolds. >> approximately 70% of the car was hanging in midair over the edge of the bridge with 30% still stuck on the bridge itself. i've never seen anything like this. >> the wreckage is only the first shock. because all three victims are not only alive but also conscious, and looking straight down at a deadly 100-foot fall. >> two trapped. two kids and an adult. we've got to get it back. get that up. >> the whole bottom of the car opened up and she was just hanging by a thread with her seat belt on. she was saying to the firefighters get me out and that her 10-week-old and her 10-year-old was trapped. >> we could hear her 10-year-old sort of groaning, and so that was a big moment, a real relief to know that she was still alive.
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i remember saying we need to be strong and that these children need your strength. >> but kelly's strength is fading fast. she's crushed against the driver's side window while at the same time reaching behind to hold up her infant daughter in the car seat. the rescue team gets a harness to kelly but it's little comfort as she stares through the gaping hole beneath her feet. greg knuckle stands by, but feels helpless. >> she wanted a net. greg, can you give me a net? it was just, having to tell her, i can't. i don't have a net. i wish i had a net right now. i wish we had a net, but i can't. and here she's looking down. and that was hard to tell someone. >> we're tying up your car right now to hold it stable, okay? we're going to get you out. you're doing good. >> firefighters stabilize the wreck by tying it down with ropes and begin to pry the car open. they're hoping to create just enough room to pull the family
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out, but instead realize they may be causing a bigger problem. >> each time we use the jaws of life to cut the top of the car open, the actual the bottom of the car opened even further. so that was a real concern for us that she could potentially slip through the bottom of the car. >> the biggest moment was when i heard the cutting team saying hey, this vehicle is moving. and that scared me. >> kelly hears the concerns of the rescue team and wants to know what is happening. greg knuckles is faced with the difficult task of keeping her focused on survival. >> you know, this is what's happening. we're stabilized. there's a lot of stuff you can't see, there's a lot of lines on this vehicle. we're doing the best we can. i didn't know if this car could go over the edge and there were moments that i thought, you know, yeah, this could happen. so that was real difficult, trying to maintain my composure, and not essentially think i'm lying to her, and just try to keep the game face on, so to speak.
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i think she probably knew that what could have happened and realized she was lucky, too. so it was amazing to see her strength. >> the lives of three people hang in the balance. then news arrives that some would call a coincidence, others a miracle. a convoy of navy seabees had been stuck in traffic from the accident on the opposite side of the highway. >> we brought highway patrol it's like we have a forklift that has the capability to be on this side of the roadway. and reach underneath that car to support it so it won't slip off. >> the seabees are the navy's construction battalion and they're transporting heavy equipment to a nearby military base. and they just happen to have the exact tool needed to help save this family. a forklift. >> they were able to come from the opposite side of the bridge. put their forks underneath the back of the tire of the car and hold it up to stabilize it for us. it also created a platform for us to get a firefighter over the edge. >> i put the harness on, walked out over the forklift.
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there was no problem. i didn't think twice. i just went out there and started working. the most important thing was to have the 10-year-old removed. she was the most critical. >> but they must maneuver the forklift without moving the wreck and the victims inside. >> if we try to lift it up, they were afraid the vehicle would twist and crush her worse and put her in a worse position so we put it on there, and you have the rear tires supporting the main structural part of the car that's hanging off the freeway. >> the plan worked. 10-year-old sage is the first to be taken out. and rushed to a waiting helicopter. >> being in the military you try not to let emotions get to you. i think the hardest part when they pulled that 10-year-old girl out, because i have a 6-year-old at home, and actually seeing her come out, kind of hitting close to home. but hearing she was all right made it worth every moment of it. >> 10-week-old milo is freed with only minor injuries. leaving kelly still trapped in the front seat. >> i remember saying it's time sage is gone, the helicopters have taken her. milo is out. now it's time for you to get
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out. >> it won't be easy. firefighters have cut through the top of the car creating a small exit. but every inch kelly moves must be carefully choreographed. shards of glass and twisted metal surround her body. >> we sort of had to reach down and kind of manipulate her feet while she's being pulled from the rescuers up top and then we had to sort of be careful lifting her up. but actually, she helped get herself out a lot. it amazed me, her strength. >> the rescue team makes one final pull and after almost two hours, kelly escapes the wreck that held her captive. >> i vividly remember once the mother was extricated watching her get pulled out of the car, and standing on that forklift, and i remember taking one of the deepest breaths i've taken in a long time, and letting it out. >> kelly and 10-year-old sage are more seriously injured than baby milo but survive their incredible nightmare. rescuers are praised for their
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tireless efforts, but some who were there believe fate lent a hand as well. >> we were originally delayed because of a vehicle breakdown. we would have been two hours ahead of the accident. i believe everything happens for a reason. we were just in the right place at the right time. >> it was just amazing that it was there. i started to wonder like, okay, maybe angels wear camouflage. i don't really know, because it was bigger than me. bigger than me. >> just looking back on it, we were lucky at times having the seabees show up. it was miraculous they showed up to help us out. >> coming up, a crane operator makes a critical decision 220 feet above a raging inferno. >> there was no way i could go down past that flame. >> when "caught on camera: help is on the way" continues.
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a fire out of control, and a man trapped above smoke and flames. the dramatic attempts to rescue him before it's too late are all caught on camera. >> so i just sit there. waited it out and prayed to my creator that that was it. i thought that was my end. >> april 12, 1999. a fire breaks out at a construction site in atlanta georgia. at first, the blaze does not appear to be a threat to crane operator iver sims. so he make a decision to stay put 220 feet above the ground. >> the smoke started coming out of the top of the building and i sit there because i thought maybe i would be able to help the guys, assist them to find out where the smoke was coming from. >> sims communicates what he can see to his supervisor down below. but the fire quickly goes from bad to worse.
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>> so this is probably one of the largest fires atlanta has seen in 25 years. it actually started generating its own wind which is close to firestorm conditions. >> construction crews on the ground have safely evacuated the building. but sims can only look down helplessly upon a sea of flames. his only means of escape is cut off. >> most of the crane is built with steps and how you get up and down every day. the crane was sitting close to the building and there was no way i could go down past the flames and get down those steps. >> and time is not on sims' side. the fire advances closer and closer to the crane. and the question becomes, how much longer can it take the punishing heat? >> there was direct flame contact between the steel at the bottom of the crane and it weakens the steal. if it weakens enough it's going to fall over and you're not going to survive that fall. >> sims decides to ride the fire out in the cab of the crane, but
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the rising temperatures turn it into a broiling often. >> i realized the heat was getting to me and i got out of the cab and on the deck of the crane. the cab of the crane where i was sitting, just a few minutes, it blew up and busted into flames. >> sims paces along the crane looking for any escape from the flames. he takes refuge on the counterweight at the end of the crane's arm. >> the reason i went back on the counterweight, because those blocks are made out of solid concrete. i realized that that was the only thing to absorb that heat. i just sit back there. i didn't feel any heat. >> trapped on the edge, 220 feet above the ground, all sims can do is wait. >> after i lost contact with everybody on the ground, i didn't know whether i was going to get down or not. i thought that was my end. i just sit there and pray.
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which is nice to have time to ask god forgiveness before -- ask him to forgive you for anything that you have done to anybody else. >> but first responders aren't about to give up. helicopters attempt to approach the top of the crane. >> we're going to make a couple of passes just to see what we can do with it. >> the heat and 40-mile-an-hour wind prove to be difficult to overcome. >> we tried to hover up to it but it's hot. we didn't get that close to it. >> firefighters brainstorm ways to reach sims, but many ideas are impractical under these conditions. >> we had ideas of trying to throw a line to him or shoot a line to him. there was an idea of somebody crawling up the inside of one of the smoke stacks next to the crane. and then the idea -- so who's going to be able to jump that far? >> rescue workers decide another airborne attempt is the only way to reach the top of the crane. the plan calls for firefighters
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matt moseley to dangle 80 feet beneath a helicopter, through the heat and smoke, then be lowered onto the burning hot crane and attach himself to ivers. >> i can remember just seconds after being lifted, this calm came over me. you were done hearing opinions, done hearing all the ideas, it's time to go to work. there was nothing else you could really do. >> moseley's calm doesn't last for long. the pilot fights to keep the helicopter steady against the powerful winds and updrafts from the massive fire. but it's moseley who must endure and protect himself from the extreme heat. >> i was getting nervous because it was getting very hot. my ears were starting to burn. i tried to tuck my head down into my collar because it was getting a lot hotter than i expected. >> fighting the wind, the chopper pilot maneuvers moseley directly onto the arm of the crane. and no one has any idea how close the 220 foot crane is to
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the point of collapse. >> i got on the crane, and made my way over to ivers, i can remember i could hear pop. that pop was the metal deck, the steel popping from the heat. because the control cabin already burned up. so we didn't want to dilly daly. tried humor with him. boss said okay go ahead and knock off early. he wasn't really paying attention to what i had to say. probably wasn't in the mood. >> i introduced myself, he told me what to do with the sling he had, you know, i think it was something like a three-point hitch or something like that. we had to loop it up. and that was it. >> moseley knows every second counts and races to get the harness on sims. he gives the thumbs up. after nearly two hours on top of the crane, ivers sims is flown to safety. >> probably the biggest relief for the whole rescue was when the system actually tensed up and we were able to get it lifted off the crane and everything was hooked up. it was a good feeling. it was a good feeling knowing you're going to safety.
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it was a good feeling. >> we enjoyed the ride on the way down and i'll always remember they teach you in school to try and calm people. try to talk to them. i was talking but i don't think he was listening to me because he was the calmest person up there. >> sims and mosley are brought down in a nearby field where medical teams immediately rush to greet them. to assist them. >> it was a good feeling to hit the ground. i would have kissed the ground but i didn't have time. they grabbed me up and threw me on one of the stretchers and hauled me off to the hospital. >> the flames are extinguished soon after sims' rescue and the crane remains standing in spite of the intense heat and flames. >> the guys that took it down did tell us it was three or four feet out of spec. so it had started to lean. >> both men emerged from the ordeal without any physical injuries, but their moment in the spotlight has only just begun. the dramatic rescue is broadcast live around the country, and instantly turns matt, ivers and the helicopter crew into national celebrities.
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>> almost want to say that when we got on the ground, it got tougher because that's when the media showed up. and i mean it was a swarm. and then the mayor comes up, hands you his phone and says vice president gore is on the line. he was watching from washington i guess and called to congratulate us. so you know nothing like the vice president of the united states calling to add to your nervousness. >> the media celebrates a happy ending to an incredible rescue. and ivers sims is changed forever. >> that day, you know, everybody just stepped in and did their part, and everything went, like i said, flawless. from that day on, i have a different perspective to what life and people. coming up, an afternoon hike becomes a struggle between life and death for a teenager and his dog. >> we have to get to them because we have no idea how long they're going to last. >> when "caught on camera" continues.
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a teenager is left hanging on for dear life when he tries to save his dog from a potentially deadly fall.
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>> he was just so physically tired that he probably wasn't going to last much longer on that hillside. >> december 29th, 2011. ivan solace and his father are walking ivan's dog lola in lopez canyon, california, when the canine faces a bottle thrown over the side of the hill. >> the dog went down there got stuck, wasn't able to come back up and ivan wanted to go and try to get him. >> but ivan's impulse to rescue his four-legged friend takes a frightening turn. >> the slope becomes too steep and ivan slides uncontrollably down the face of the cliff. he grabs onto a rock to stop his free-fall and gets close to his dog. news helicopters capture ivan's struggle. he can't climb back up or continue down. >> the cliff was approximately 200, 250-foot cliff side and he was approximately 75 to 100 feet down right in that area, in a
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steeper section of the cliff. >> los angeles firefighters oscar and robert are part of the team called in to help save ivan and his dog from a nearly 200-foot fall. helicopters make the first attempt. a rescuer is lowered down a safety line and tries to attach harnesses to both ivan and the dog. >> the reason why we decided or the department decided to go with the helicopter first, i guess that's how our procedure works, our protocol. we figured that would be the easiest way, the safest way. to rescue ivan. >> but the wind and noise generated by the chopper causes lola to panic. and ivan scrambles to cover her with his body. >> during their attempt, the roteo wash was so great that it was blowing rocks and debris across ivan and the dog, which actually made the situation worse. >> it turned out it could have been a dangerous operation so we backed out on that and we went to plan "b," which was for the members, the firefighters, to go
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down and rescue ivan. >> firefighter oscar is the first to reach ivan. the 19-year-old has been hanging onto the cliff for more than an hour and is close to letting go. >> once i got to ivan, he was tired. he was extremely exhausted, tired, he was thirsty. i was just trying to comfort him, make sure everything was going to be okay, he was going to be safe. i tried to get his mind off of that, scared. >> cespedes secures ivan to a harness with no problems and decides to take him down the hill. but the firefighters agree it is safer to take lola another way. >> the dog wasn't going to leave ivan's side. so the route that they were going to take ivan down the dog would have got hurt trying to follow. so we made the decision to secure the dog first, get the dog out of the equation, and then keep the dog safe, and prevent the dog from hurting itself. once i had the dog in my arms,
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it didn't move. it actually tucked itself even closer, and it could have crawled inside, it probably would have, that's how scared the dog was. >> mcginnis takes slow steps across the face of the cliff and hands lola off to a waiting firefighter. cespedes attaches himself to ivan and they begin their descent down the steep slope. but they encounter problems as soon as they begin. the rope line gets snagged. cespedes must tug on the line which in turn sends debris straight down on them. >> the hard part is getting him down, all the loose dirt and all the loose rocks just hitting us. i was talking to him, just keep your head down because there's a lot of loose dirt and loose rocks. certain points i had to look up just to make sure what kind of debris was going to fall on us. >> cespedes also struggles with the loose ground which disintegrates right under his feet. >> that mountain was very steep, loose dirt, rock, very uncomfortable. so that kind of always is a hindrance of trying to do a
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rescue like this. you think you're placing your foot or hand on something that is stable or secure and that's not the case. >> the two safely reach the bottom of the hill and ivan is reunited with lola and his family. but admits he was worried the outcome could have been much different. >> he told me that if we weren't there we would have been able to hold on for about 20 more minutes. >> rescues can be a part of a difficult day for an l.a. firefighter but ivan and lola are two that won't soon be forgotten. >> i hadn't really been on a rescue like this before so it was special to me. just kind of go to work and do what we need to do. >> no one was hurt, nobody was injured. the victim and the dog in this case were both saved. and that's the gratification right there. just knowing that we were able to make a difference out there.
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coming up, a group of friends up against a rising tide. >> my entire body, including my neck was under the water. >> when "caught on camera, help is on the way" continues.
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a kayaking trip becomes a nightmare. forcing four people to fight for their lives against the rising tide. >> we had a really small window to get everyone out of this tunnel or it's going to go from a rescue to a recovery. >> september 2nd, 2007. dennis riley along with his wife sue thompson and their friend claudia darrow are sightseeing along the ware river in massachusetts. >> we decided to take kayaks up the estuary as the tide was going up -- coming in, get there at high tide, and just kind of leisurely go back out with the tide. >> claudia puts down her paddle and starts taking pictures. but as she looks through her lens, she doesn't realize her kayak is slowly drifting toward a drainage tunnel called a culvert. >> just, you know, a baby's bath. and then all of a sudden i was slammed up against the bridge and being sucked down underneath into the culvert. >> so we made a bee line for her as fast as we could.
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but it was immediately obvious that we were in a very bad situation. our kayak started to tip and i'm all of a sudden out of the kayak in the water. >> bystanders witness the accident and call 911. as dennis tries to hold onto both claudia and suelina. but the powerful current sweeps his wife into the culvert. a local resident captures the terrifying ordeal on camera. claudia is already pulled out of the tunnel, but dennis is still inside trying to reach his wife. >> and then, like from heaven, the ladder came down right in front of me. and i reached out and i thought, well, i better get out of here and let the firefighters do their job. so i pulled, grabbed on to the ladder and i pulled myself through the opening. >> the deputy fire chief chris russo is waiting on the ladder and helps lift dennis up to the rescue team on the bridge. >> when i finally got a hold of
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dennis he was wedged between his kayak, the ladder and the edge of the culvert. thank god he wasn't a giant guy and i could actually lift him up and get him on the ladder and move him to safety. >> i got him. under the arms. under his arms. >> i was pretty exhausted. i knew that there wasn't much more that i could do, but i was also, at that point, had been prepared to if somebody threw me a rope, i would have gone back in the tide to suelina. >> dennis and claudia are safe. suelina is still trapped inside the tunnel but she's not alone. >> i'm going to send you a rope and a life jacket. >> a rope and a life jacket. >> jake king is the first firefighter to arrive at the bridge after the 911 call before the camera starts to record. he hears the desperate cries for help and decides he can't wait for more firefighters to come. >> so i jumped in the water and
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i was sucked into the culvert. but i did get inside. >> suelina relies on her yoga training to remain calm but realizes she may not survive. >> at a certain point i guess kind of an unconscious prayer. just said, you know, if you have to take me, i'll go. so i was kind of really ready when literally at about that time, you know, this person comes up from the water. and grabs a hold of me, and he says, i'm firefighter jake king. hold on tight, or we're both going to die. it was like, you know, he woke me up from a kind of referee where i was starting to kind of fade. and he said, okay. this is extremely dangerous,
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but, you know, i'm going to find a way out. >> jay communicates with chris russo while inside the tunnel and they come up with a plan to pull them out against the raging torrent. >> how long you got? i need 35 feet. i'm coming for you. don't worry. >> the water was coming in very fast. at that point the water inside the culvert was swirling around like a whirlpool and we could see the tide rising. and you know, we had very, very little space. i'm going to say anywhere from 8 to 12 inches to the top of the >> you got that? this is your line. tie it to your jacket. tie the knot right in there. untie that knot. pull that out of the jacket. it's a loop knot. i want you out of here jay. >> jay and suelina wrap themselves in the rope and prepare to escape from the dark confines of the tunnel.
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>> let's do it right once. >> but fear overwhelms suelina when she learns she must make the journey to the opening alone. >> everything happens very quickly and jay says i cannot come with you. i can't. they can't pull both of us out. >> there's a high level of anxiety there. you know we've got a vick still who is not responding to us verbally. she didn't want to move. she was afraid she was going to die. she was in a very dark place. >> you've got to talk to me. please, stop talking. you're going to come to me, all right? i won't let you go. >> and chris is screaming, stop listening to him. listen to me! and it's like i couldn't change my allegiance. i was like so bonded to jay who's been holding on to me under the water. >> suelina overcomes her fear and lets go of jay. russo gets help from a man on a
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small boat to pull suelina out. her head is barely above the rushing water. gasping for air with every ounce of strength she can find. >> i'm just exhausted. i've been down there so long and i can't, my head is going under the water. and, i'm still thinking i'm going to drown and chris is on the ladder and it was like he was, just like pouring his life force into me and i could raise my arm and he could grab hold of my arm. >> after 45 terrifying minutes, suelina is pulled to safety, but jay king is still trapped in the tunnel. >> i knew as a rescuer, rescuers are always last.
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but like anything, i just want to get out. >> on this line, this side of the ladder. >> you've got to move this line underneath the ladder. >> i'll get you out of this. >> we're getting to the end of this here. we're getting close. we're running out of time. and the last thing i want to do, after being successful three other times is leave a firefighter trapped in a culvert at the end of the day. >> russo realizes the boat can provide extra strength to pull jay out of the tunnel. precious seconds tick away as rescuers attempt to maneuver the boat into position. >> be right there. >> the boat pulls jay to the opening of the tunnel but he still must squeeze past the ladder blocking the exit. he makes his way around as the pressure from the river threatens to push him back in. >> a little more. >> we're going to pull you. >> with one final burst of speed, the boat moves forward,
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and jay king escapes. >> we got him. >> you know, it was a deep breath. there's a sigh of relief there. my first thought was, am i 100% sure we have everyone? and when that was verified with everyone else who was on scene, it was good to see everyone's faces. dennis, claudia and suelina suffer minor injuries but the psychological trauma is harder to leave behind. >> i mean, i'm still processing it. i'll be processing it for the rest of my life. >> the bridge has been rebuilt and the culvert opening grated up. signs are posted in the river to protect kayakers from getting too close. but if they do, firefighters and first responders will be there.
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>> i think give or take two or three minutes they were going to drown. without a question of doubt if we didn't take the actions we did. >> public service i used to think is politicians. it really changed my view of how necessary these jobs are. and how the people that do them are amazing. jay jumped in there not knowing whether he would survive. and that's a different kind of job. >> coming up, an afternoon of terror on the side of an apartment building. >> we had a collapsed scaffolding system about 130 feet up in the air. >> when "caught on camera, help is on the way" continues.
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a construction platform breaks apart leaving two men
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a construction platform breaks apart leaving two men clinging to the side of a building. >> i mean, that was over 130 feet.
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it definitely would have been a fatal fall. >> march 4th, 2011. two workers must face their worst fears when a scaffold collapses outside an apartment building in yonkers, new york. a news helicopter captures the dramatic scene as the men dangle in the cold winter temperatures. yonkers fire chief john flynn and firefighter mike juro assess the dire situation. >> one guy is actually hanging on the scaffolding, standing on top of it. and the second victim is below him, beneath the scaffolding, probably another ten feet or so. >> we didn't know the extent of their injuries at that point. so the plan was made to have some of our members proceed to the floor nearby where they were hanging from the scaffolding to remove windows to establish communication with them, to assess their condition. >> the two men indicate they aren't hurt and their safety
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harnesses keep them from plummeting to the ground. but rescuers are concerned that may quickly change. no one knows how long the scaffold, or the workers, can hold on. >> when they sit in their harnesses for a long time it decreases the blood flow to their lower extremities which creates a lot of physiological problems. >> it's a serious thing. they were starting to get some of that because their legs were starting to get numb. it was a little cold out. >> firefighters first attempt to use their truck ladder to bring the men down, but it quickly becomes clear they'll have to move on to plan "b." >> our longest ladders are 100 feet long, and these men being about 130 feet above the ground were very much out of the reach of our ladders. our second option would be to pull them into a nearby window.
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a window above, possibly below or to the side. >> but plan "b" has its own problems. >> when you're looking at a building that way on tv, it looks like everything is flat. it doesn't give you the dimensions. but those windows were actually ten feet back and ten feet offset. so when you're on rope, you never want to pendulum and swing them. because your rope could actually cut. >> the ladders are too short. the windows too distant. firefighters are left with one final option. the roof. >> we had a repelling rack up top that they were using, and basically a bunch of bars that we weave the rope through. and acts as a frictional device. >> and once that was all done, which took an 30 minutes, we had placed a firefighter into the harness and we lowered him off the side of the building. >> gero carefully descends and reaches the two men clinging to the platform. he determines the worker on the top end can hang on for a little while longer, but the other one
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gives him cause for concern. >> the first victim was actually standing on scaffolding. he was hanging on pretty tight to the building but seemed okay. wasn't, like, super panicked yet. the guy below him seemed more in a panic state. i think one of the reasons was that his harness was right around his legs where it should have been, but his whole weight was suspended by that harness, which was starting to cut off the blood flow. >> gero approaches the lower victim and secures him to the rope lines. >> with the main line attachment, what i did, is i attached the end knot to myself and attached him to the accessory cord. his weight is not really on me. it's just on my system. in this situation, if something failed, i would have been fine and he would have been fine. >> gero safely brings the first man to the ground. typically another firefighter would rescue the second victim, but the late afternoon dusk is
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turning to night, and chief flynn decides gero's experience outweighs other considerations. >> when mike went down the first time, it was just getting dark, and he had a really good look at the entanglement problems that were there with the collapsed scaffolding and the ropes that had the workers entangled, so after consulting with mike when he reached the ground we determined it really would be ideal for him to go a second time. >> flood lights illuminate the building as gero once again repels down the side. the rescue goes off without a hitch. and both workers are taken to the hospital for observation. >> they were a little hyperthermic and had soreness, medically they were released from the harness and they were fine. >> an investigation later determines the scaffolding collapsed due to a failure in the breaking system. mandatory safety lines helped save the two workers from a 130-foot fall and there's no question the skill and steady nerves of mike gero ensured this accident didn't become a tragedy.
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>> definitely remembered it. i mean, this is pretty much the highlight of my career so far. and it's not just -- it's not just me. you know, i mean, we had guys up there, we had close to 50 guys in there helping save a life. you know, and it's a great feeling when you can effect people's lives. coming up -- a school of dolphins is saved from a certain death. when "caught on camera: help is is on the way" continues.
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a fiery motorcycle crash transforms a group of office workers into heroes. >> we ran up to the bike, the flames were really intense. it felt like i was in the fire. >> june 22nd, 2011. it's just another day outside
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philadelphia's municipal transportation offices. until a car starts to make an illegal u-turn on a busy street. a security camera captures the driver waiting for traffic to clear as walter rivera rides his motorcycle down the same street only a few hundred feet away. >> there's a hill, and going over the top of the hill is kind of a blind spot. i didn't see her until the last minute, so there was nothing i could do. >> sparks fly as the helmetless rivera drops his bike to the ground and slides into the back wheel of the car. the motorcycle goes up in flames as the car pulls over. rivera lays unconscious and on fire next to the burning wreckage. >> so i was laying there burning for 30 seconds, and there was a
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crowd of people outside. you can understand, people were scared it was going to explode. >> a car approaches the flaming motorcycle and then turns away. but john solecki hears the accident from inside his office and races out to help. he and another man pull rivera away from the burning motorcycle. >> flames were really intense. when we pulled him out and got him to the middle of the street away from the bike, he was on fire on his legs. >> solecki takes off his shirt and stamps out rivera's burning
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legs as co-workers joe benedict and stephen boon arrive to help. >> john is still trying to put him out with his shirt, and joe, joe just looking to do something to help out.
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i handed hip the fire extinguisher. >> i quick pulled it out of his hands and pulled the pin and started extinguishing the fire on walter. when i seen that the fire was out on him, i don't know what made me go over to try to put the fire out on the motorcycle, but that's what i tried to do. >> rivera regains consciousness as boon and solecki pull him even further from the wreck. >> i kept trying to get up, like, trying to get up from the street. tourists slowly approach the dolphins, unsure of what to do. a few begin to walk into the surf and attempt to roll the dolphins back into deeper water.
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then even more people rush out to help. one man grabs a tail and drags the dolphin back out into the ocean. soon, others follow. more than a dozen people start to grab dolphins by their tails. it's unclear why species like dolphins and whales beach themselves. some scientists believe a leader of the group may unintentionally guide the others into shallow waters. other theories cite human interference such as sonar or shipping noise as factors that confuse the dolphins' internal guidance systems. each year, hundreds and sometimes thousands of dolphins are found on shores worldwide and most of them don't survive. but this group is lucky to have some human friends at the right place and right time. giving them a second chance at life in the open seas.
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msnbc takes you behind the walls, into a world of chaos and danger, and now the scenes you have never seen. "lockup raw." >> you do, you do your back that way. >> a few things in prison are as key to survival as having a good cellmate. >> when you live with a person for 24 hours a day,


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